McCain camp battles criticism of Palin vetting process

September 3rd, 2008 - 1:45 pm ICT by ANI  

St. Paul (Minnesota), Sept.3 (ANI): Republican presidential nominee John McCains aides are insisting that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was properly checked out before she became his vice-presidential running mate.
The vetting came under attack after news broke Monday that Palins 17-year-old unmarried teenage daughter, Bristol, is five-months pregnant; her husband, Todd, was arrested for DUI in 1986; and the Alaska governor has retained a private attorney to represent her in an investigation into the firing of the state public safety commissioner.
Anytime you have a candidate whos not as well-known nationally, theres going to be a lot of scrutiny in the initial weeks entering the national political stage, McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers told
Were completely comfortable with the vetting that weve done and were looking forward to the campaign ahead, he added.
Campaigning in Philadelphia on Tuesday, McCain said he is satisfied that Palins background was properly checked before she was selected.
The vetting process was completely thorough and Im grateful for the results, McCain told reporters as he toured a firehouse.
The McCain camp says Palin volunteered information about Bristols pregnancy with high school classmate Levi Johnston and about her husbands DUI arrest at age 22 during questioning as part of the vice presidential search process.
The Alaska governor also spoke at length about the dismissal of the states public safety commissioner that has triggered a legislative investigation.
But since Monday, McCains campaign has been batting away suggestions that the Arizona senators team didnt fully research his running mate.
According to Fox News, the vetting process normally takes two to three months.
For McCains search, Rogers said, attorney Arthur B. Culvahouse led a team of 24 people to review public documents for prospective candidates without their knowledge. Those documents included news reports, speeches, financial and tax return disclosures, litigation, investigations, ethical charges, marriages and divorces.
For Palin, the team studied online archives of the states largest newspapers, including the Anchorage Daily News, but didnt request paper archives for her hometown newspaper to maintain discretion.
McCain and his top advisers Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, Mark Salter and Charlie Black reviewed the 40-plus page reports on each candidate. From this review, McCains team discovered that Palin had once received a citation for fishing without a license.
Culvahouse said that Palin and others on the short list were also sent a personal data survey with 70 very intrusive questions. The campaign also asked her to submit a number of years of federal and state tax returns, along with any controversial articles she had written or interviews she had done. The campaign also checked her credit.
Culvahouse then conducted a nearly three-hour long interview.
McCain initially met Palin in February, then held one phone conversation with her last week before inviting her to Arizona, according to a campaign-issued time line. In Arizona, he offered her the job Thursday. (ANI)

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